Huge news overnight, with some wider-ranging ramifications that could get the Jets caught up in the ripple effect:
Sources tell The Star that the Chiefs have reached an agreement to trade Alex Smith to Washington. The story: https://t.co/vlNuGMAlVS— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) January 31, 2018
Here's some brief thoughts:
- The biggest issue here is that this frees up Kirk Cousins. Washington will let Cousins walk, presumably recouping the third-rounder they're giving up in the Smith trade, while also saving a bunch of money. The Jets are viewed as a candidate to pursue Cousins.
- Smith was ultimately acquired for a third-rounder and Kendall Fuller, according to reports. However, Fuller has disputed this. Assuming that was the correct deal, would Jets fans have been happy to give up a day two pick and a promising young defensive back (let's say Marcus Maye) to land Smith?
- Were the Jets in the mix for Smith? It was reported that six teams were involved in trade talks and, scanning the list of teams that really need a quarterback, it seems likely the Jets were one of them if that's accurate.
- Smith, who is 33, was being discussed as a stop-gap or band-aid type option when we raised him as a possibility for the Jets a month or so ago. However, he got a four year, $94 million extension with $71 million in guarantees. Based on the feedback at the time, I don't think that would have been well received by Jets fans.
- For Smith to get $23.5 million per year, this pretty much ensures that the younger Cousins is likely to command somewhere in the $30 million per year range. The Jets can afford that kind of money, but would it be a wise investment? Denver is still seen as the favorites to land Cousins, but they'll need to make some cap-saving moves to be able to afford him at that price.
- The Chiefs are obviously committing to Patrick Mahomes to be their future starter. That's one less team in the market for a franchise quarterback and also some hope for any team hoping to develop a strong-armed quarterback with aspects of rawness into an NFL starter in short order.
- In case you're interested, when polled in July, 45% of JetsFix readers voted to "stick to the plan" rather than pursue Cousins. A further 26% were interested only at the right price. Earlier this month, just 15% of JetsFix readers voted to go after Cousins, as most preferred to draft a quarterback with the sixth pick.
- An interesting topic of conversation is how Cousins compares to Smith. If Smith - whose stats were better than Cousins' stats last season - can be 80% of what Cousins is, then he's earning less than 80% of $30 million a year in his extension. While Cousins is still in his prime, could this move actually prove to be a short-term upgrade for Washington?